Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30

31093398_10156247969077487_8486190924796600121_n

Murad Essential-C Day Moisturiser Broad Spectrum SPF 30 (£60 50ml) combines, vitamin C for radiance and firmness, antioxidants to shield skin from environmental damage and  sun protection against UVA and UVB rays.

If you are anything like me, you might have cringed, just reading £60 never mind spending it. Here’s why I did a) My skin needs all of the technical and biological help it can get b) I ALWAYS forget to wear suncream on my face c) When I do remember to apply some generic one that’s around the house, my makeup slides off within the hour d) As I’ve hit my mid-thirties my skin has become a lot dryer to the point where it makes the best foundation look like cement on application.

Pro’s

  • Non greasy
  • Doesn’t have an obvious suncream scent
  • Makes skin look naturally radiant, even under medium-thick coverage foundation
  • Keeps skin moisturised all day
  • A little goes a long way

Con’s

  • If I’m going to pay £60 I either want more product or a fabulous looking jar
  • Too heavy for oily or combination skin
  • Not an all-in-one product. You’ll need to use a separate primer after this if you want your makeup to last in a hot club/at the gym etc.

Note:

For the golden skinned or the old-school tan lovers out there, please don’t be put off by SPF 30. If you are out in the sun for hours your skin will noticeably thank you for protecting it (especially as you age) and SPF does not mean total sun block so you will still tan, even on days with light cloud.

Chrissie

Norvelle 4 Faces Facial Tanning Spray & Body Buff Exfoliating Ph Balancing Mitt

Norvelle are British brand who serious about tanning, they are even used on Strictly Come Dancing and Dancing With The Stars. They offer a comprehensive range of products depending on how dark you want to go and how you prefer to apply your product. They are BUAV (leaping bunny) approved to not test on animals.

4 Faces Facial Tanning Spray (£9.99 2floz)

The Science Bit

Time Release Micro Capsules bind moisture within the skin, for 24hr hydration.
Natural Enzymes repair weak, dehydrated skin.
Unique Dermal Barrier locks DHA within the top layer of skin, priming it for Longer Lasting, Deeper, Sunless Results.
Advanced DHA Odor Encapsulation molecules ‘trap’ and virtually eliminate common sunless odor.
Non-Comedogenic Facial Quality Formula designed for delicate facial skin and will not clog pores.
Just of the Beach Color™ patented blend of DHA and bronzers found only in Norvell Professional products.

Application of Facial Spray

It’s suggested that you spray this facial tan onto a beauty blender to apply it. The first one absorbed most of it and then it ran straight off the second one. Clearly, I need to up my beauty blender game! So instead, I prepped my face with some rich moisturiser and sprayed this straight onto my skin and blended with my fingers and palms. The spray is very uneven and does not come out like a mist. The nozzle is incredibly hard to press down (and not just with my hypermobile fingers, my friend struggled too) so some work is definitely required either way you apply this. I’m going for the mouse if I ever buy this myself.

31065626_10156246085527487_8112197035601547292_n

Please excuse the shadows on the left of my face, this was the most true light, rather than blanching me out in glaring sunshine.

Result! (Yes, I am actually shouting that out loud)

Spray tan usually makes my skin so dry and it settles in all of my expression lines but my skin remained hydrated, even through the next day. When my skin was wet I patted it dry with a white towel and the tan didn’t transfer. Well, that’s a first! I have been wearing darker coloured tops incase it rubs off around my neckline though. I had a very faint freshly painted smell but that faded quickly. I’m still waiting for it to go patchy five days later but it’s not budging. I’ve just exfoliated (because my skin needed it, not the tan) and even now I’m still tanned and glowing!

I have a realistic colour that works wonderfully with my natural skin tone and I wonder if this is because I diluted the colour a little with my moisturiser. I can imagine you could go really quite dark with a few layers of just this product, even though there are much darker one’s available in the range.

Pre Sunless Body Buff Exmitt Exfoliating Ph Balancing Mitt (£5.99)

The Science Bit

Boosts Amino Acid Levels on the skin surface, which works directly with the active sunless ingredient, DHA, to produce maximum color results.
pH Balancing Skin Primer balances out skin surface prior to tanning to minimize orange look for that natural just off the beach™ color.
Hydrates skin for even and maximum absorption of sunless solution.
Advanced DHA Odor Encapsulation molecules ‘trap’ and virtually eliminate common sunless odor.
Time Release Micro Capsules bind moisture within the skin.
Unique Dermal Barrier locks in DHA.

Application

Even though this mitt is really big it’s soft and easy to use. I didn’t realise it comes with a lot of moisture, so much that I dripped it everywhere taking it out of the foil – oops! It moved along my limbs fine but didn’t feel very exfoliating. There was enough moisture left to be able to reuse it, so I put it into a zip lock bag for next time.

Result

My legs felt moisturised and a little smoother and the tan glided on really well. I was worried about the colour payoff because my legs were actually wet from the mitt before applying the tan. I was left with subtle, natural looking colour as if I’d been running errands, during a week of sunny weather, rather than on holiday or outside gardening all day. A huge bonus for me was that there was no freshly painted smell at all! My skin stayed moisturised, with no patchiness, colour change or spray tan scent and those really are the most important things for me. Low maintenance and a believable result.

Chrissie

SaveSave

Chaophraya – Thai Restaurant – Manchester

P1090163

It was the Blokes birthday recently and he chose to go to Chaophraya (named after the longest river in Thailand). We’ve always found the decor, the atmosphere, the food and the staff to be lovely so it’s always been a treat to eat there. I was a little disappointed there were no gluten free beer options and that they only had Singh beer on offer but the cocktail menu more than made up for that. The Banana Daiquiris were as amazing as they sound, although the Bloke wasn’t quite as keen.

P1090156

I’ve always appreciated that the chefs at Chaophraya know how to cook veg so it’s almost al dente but not a challenge to bite. They also use the lightest tempura batter and make surprisingly thick pancakes which taste more like comfort food, rather than part of a starter.

P1090167

We have started our own trend of ordering a starter or a big main salad, as a side that we can both share. The shredded papaya salad with peanuts, veg, lime, chilli and sugar sounded appealing. All of the flavours combined to make it the tastiest and most refreshing salad I’ve ever eaten.

P1090168

We both love the creamy, spicy Masaman curry but they had it with lamb on the menu so we asked if we could have a veggie version. They said no problem and even asked if we wanted to include tofu. We also ordered coconut rice as we thought it would go well with the curry and the lime flavours in the papaya salad, which it did.

P1090170

Note: In some areas of the restaurant they have soft banquette seating and some are much lower than average chairs with no back support. So depending on your needs, it’s worth noting when booking if you want to sit at the many tables and chairs.

Chaophraya

19 Chapel Walks, Manchester M2 1HN
T: 0161 832 8342
E: manchester@chaophraya.co.uk

Chrissie

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

What is it?

Don’t let the very specific tittle put you off, Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser (£35 200ml) gives your skin a helping hand with cell turnover and hydration to reveal smoother, more radiant skin.

How does it work?

It uses gentle Salicylic acid (BHA), Lactic and Glycolic acids (AHA’s) to dissolve dead skin cells. AHAs are water soluble and do not penetrate very deep into the skin of the person, while BHAs are oil soluble and often do penetrate much deeper into the skin, even past the oil barrier of the face. AHAs are good for eliminating dead skin cells on the surface that are caused by sun damage. The oil solubility of BHAs make it better suited for clearing up clogged pores deep in the skin, so that they can be removed.

Jojoba beads are also used to exfoliate and to boost hydration.

My skin type

I have high maintenance and very indecisive skin. Flakey, dry and oily. I seem to have a very quick cell turnover but the cells just build up (because they stick to the natural oils) instead of shedding to reveal the new skin underneath. Basically, I’d make a terrible snake. I also have a collagen disorder thanks to Hypermobilty Syndrome which means I have less collagen in some places but more in others, thanks to acne scarring in my teens and 20’s. As a result, my cheeks have ended up with a very dimpled, orange peel effect going on. Gimme the Pollyfiller, now!

Verdict

This is one of the most effective cleansers I’ve ever used. The beads are natural so no damage to the environment and are incredibly fine so a little bit really does make a big difference. I’ve been using this three times a week as my skin really needs it. I wouldn’t say I have very sensitive skin but it can go red easily when massaged too much using harsh cleansers and soap. Even though this contains Sodium Laureth Sulfate it is still very gentle and does not irritate my skin or strip it’s natural oil barrier.

My skin feels incredibly soft and looks surprisingly smoother and more radiant. It also means that my serum and moisturiser can actually sink into my pores now and foundation just glides on without looking dry or dull. I’m actually not bothering with my medium-full coverage foundation as much, even on nights out.

Honestly, after four weeks of using this, I looked in the mirror and did a little happy dance!

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

Monthly Roundup – Feb & March

FEB

I’m going to start off with ‘Our Day’ as we call it because it’s around Valentine’s Day but it doesn’t HAVE to be on that exact date. We went to our favourite Asian vegetarian restaurant for traditional dishes, contemporary dishes and as many of the amazing mock meats we could fit!

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 19.07.33

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 19.07.54

For Autumn and Winer and lets face it, most of spring in the UK I’ve taken to wearing JJH – Jumper, jeans and heels. For warmer days I pick a light knit with a wide neck, looser boot cut jeans and strappy heels. For colder days a chunky oversize knit, skinny jeans and high heeled ankle boots.

Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 20.58.10

After a busy afternoon or a night out at a gig, I’d be pretty useless the next day. I was being defeated by simple things like opening bottles, getting dressed and combing my hair, and also saying sentences which went around in circles without any point because I was really brain fogged as well as fatigued and utterly uncoordinated. So I sat down and kind of forced myself to think of 10 Reasons Why I Love My Wonky Body. The post got so many positive responses, from gentle encouragement to people saying they totally empathised and I’d made them feel better.

loving-yourself

I have to confess, in the 80’s I loved bumbags or fannypacks (for peeps in the US). Now the trend has been recycled into the more fashion friendly ‘belt bags’. So here are 12 Belt Bags for Spring.

Screen Shot 2018-02-27 at 22.07.09

I also blogged 10 No Nonsense Life Lessons as it’s taken me a while to figure some of them out and I wished I’d have know all of them in teens and twenties.

Me and the Bloke celebrated Shrove…Pancake Day this year and made some rather substantial pancakes by adding too much flower – oops! We have them in the traditional neutral/savoury way, with lots of sugar and lemon.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 19.08.06

I always get flabby over winter from over eating and hibernating but I figured while the weather is cool I should get my butt moving now, before the weather gets too hot in Spring/Summer. I’m pretty pleased with the result, although those shiny nylon type of leggings act like cellophane (saran wrap) and do a lot of the work aesthetically!

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 19.06.08

MARCH

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 19.02.05

What a top night! The supporting band was Afro Cluster (reminds me of a retro hair product) who’s sound I’d describe as funky jazz hip-hop with a fantastic MC. Charles obviously knows his Northern Soul, trad soul and funk as he’s been doing this for over a decade now but I loved that he threw in three of Stevie Wonders funkiest tunes. Band On The Wall were lovely when it came to reserving me a banquette (as part of their disability accommodations) so I didn’t have any anxiety over standing in pain or passing out with heat fatigue.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 18.53.28

It snowed!!! Yes, as you can tell, I love snow. This is my view from the living room window. Rather Narnia-esque isn’t it? ^_^

29196829_10156151420242487_3574455260318754791_n

I’ve finally found a dairy-free chocolate and nut spread which tastes like Nutella, better actually! Here’s my review of Meridian Cocoa & Hazelnut Butter.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 19.06.33

Now the weather is getting milder (utterly indecisive) for Spring, I’m moving toward my trusty 90’s grunge look as the layering is so practical, plus, it’s more socially acceptable than going out in PJ’s.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 18.55.26

Eeeh, pie! For too long it has been a case of No woman, No pie, so for British Pie Week we accepted an invite to Pieminister on Church Street – which is quickly becoming my fave city centre street. I chose Wild Shroom pie; mushroom and asparagus in a creamy white wine sauce and the Bloke chose Saag Pie-neer; pea, paneer cheese, potato, chilli and mango, both with mash spud and gravy, of course (£7 for one).

The pies were amazing, pastry not too flakey, not too stodgy, with perfectly balanced flavours. I loved the mash but the Bloke thought it a little over-worked. He liked the gravy and I thought it would go perfectly with any pie on the menu but, for me, it didn’t taste savoury enough. Pieminister also offer three gluten free options but it depends were you go for your pie (pub, cafe, restaurant) as they aren’t available everywhere.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 18.54.10

It would seem that I’m going grey early, or rather, gold. My nearly black hair has been getting lighter and lighter, as have my pale green eyes, which are now a golden-amber shade. So does that mean I’m going to be a golden oldie? Haha! Sorry.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 18.42.16

I was sent this Hempz body moisturiser which has the scent of banana, which is just heavenly! It contains pure hemp seed oil, an absolute saviour for dehydrated, under nourished skin. It also contain Shea butter and ginseng to sooth skin (I used it after shaving my legs and it didn’t irritate them) and vitamins A, E and C to protect against environmental damage.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 18.50.12

We are growing a chilli plant, well it was three chilli plants but we killed the other two somehow. I was going to give it a name but the Bloke advised me not to get too attached, going off the overall survival rate.

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 18.25.41

These Violife dairy free (and vegan) cheese slices taste like Kraft Cheese Slices but better. I’ve been melting them onto nachos in the microwave for 40 seconds for very melted on with salt and pepper or 20 seconds which is like that sweet, gooey, cinema cheese.

Screen Shot 2018-03-25 at 18.49.34

I decided to check out Peacocks, a brand I used to love in my 20’s. They’ve gotten even better. I bought, beautiful lingerie, an initial cup, an initial makeup bag, a rose gold (and very sturdy) charging lead, and the most blinging hand-warmers and beanie I’ve ever seen. Everything I bought is well made, well fitting, reasonable priced, not to mention, very pretty!

29196517_10156144849517487_6915576937937668410_n

For anyone who is too old or just too damn cool for an easter egg, I did a little post of Dairy-free Chocoalte Treats for Easter.

Chrissie

Meridian Cocoa and Hazelnut Butter

29196829_10156151420242487_3574455260318754791_n

Meridian Cocoa & Hazelnut Butter (170g) is the best dairy free chocolate spread I’ve ever tried and the fact it has hazelnuts makes it taste even more like Nutella, which, if we are being honest, is what most of us are aiming for. I’ve tried other chocolate spreads that were very dark and bitter or the taste of fruit sweetener was very obvious and rather odd.

29261886_10156151420247487_4250129136825902375_n

As you can see the texture is quite thick (once you give it a good stir when you first pop open the lid). I slap a thick layer between two pieces of sliced bread and that’s it. You don’t really need anything else with it, although sliced banana is a nice addition.

This does not contain any…

  • Palm oil
  • GMO ingredients
  • Artificial colouring
  • Artificial flavouring
  • Artificial preservative
  • Refined sugar
  • Trans fats
  • Rapeseed oil (which does not encourage biodiversity)

I don’t want an expensive Free From easter egg this year, instead I’ll be having this for breakfast or lunch and maybe supper.

Chrissie

Dairy-free Chocolate Treats for Easter

29216039_10156144849512487_292454578879686630_n

Easter, that respected and meaningful time for stuffing yourself full of choccy. However, if you – or the person you are buying for – are intolerant to dairy or figure you are too cool (old) for an easter egg, you might like these dairy-free chocolate treats instead.

29177306_10156144849507487_816864943509136965_nDartmoor Chilli Farm – Chilli Dark Chocolate

Dartmoor Chilli Farm is family owned farm using green energy and no pesticides or herbicides. They have an inventive selection of chilli chocolate bars with piquancy thermometers on the label so you can see exactly what you are letting yourself in for. From the mildest chilli lime or orange dark chocolate bars, to the hottest Carolina Reaper chilli chocolate o_O  As you can probably tell from the mostly empty packet, this basic Dark Chilli Chocolate is my favourite.

29196517_10156144849517487_6915576937937668410_nBouja Bouja – Hazelnut Chocolate Truffles

Dairy free, gluten free and organic, these truffles are little squares of heaven. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about the dusting of bitter powdered choccy on the outside at first but one bight revealed a sweet, nutty ganache centre. I also adore the sophisticated packaging which makes them a lovely gift for someone.

29133800_10156144849522487_9136683043937876349_nnakd – Posh Bits – Cocoa Sea Salt

These sweet, squishy treats are the type of things you would bring round to a loved ones or a friends to share. They are a good introduction for anyone who’s still not sold on the salted-chocolate thing or doesn’t have much of a crazy sweet-tooth as the flavours are well balanced.

❤ Chrissie ❤

 

 

Belt Bags for Spring

Belt Bags for Spring

 

Wear around the waist, slung over hips or across the body for a bag that’s secure and stylish.